Sometimes, paradise lies just beyond familiar landscapes, as true for travel enthusiasts as it is for movie aficionados. One such paradise is the Mountain Lake Lodge. Known for its stunning scenery and the famed spot where Dirty Dancing was filmed, the lodge holds hidden charms that spark delight and wonder in any visitor.
1. Stepping Into Hollywood History
Mountain Lake Lodge, surrounded by a 2,600-acre nature preserve, is no ordinary mountain retreat. Memorably, it served as the visual backdrop for the beloved 1987 film Dirty Dancing. The Virginia resort stood in for the fictional Kellerman’s Resort in the Catskills, and 35 years later, the charm remains unmarred. While some scenes were filmed in Lake Lure, North Carolina, the essence of the movie resides here in Virginia. It’s quite an awe-inspiring feeling, imagining where Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey wove their cinematic magic. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better place to stay in Maui or even a Maldives vacation that can top this transportive experience.
2. Communing with Nature
Venturing into the great outdoors is all part of the appeal of Mountain Lake Lodge. As the Virginia resort nestles amidst a vast nature preserve, visitors can readily traverse the gardens, hike the trails, or observe wildlife. If you’ve ever taken the train from Vancouver to Banff, you’ll recognize a certain majestic resonance in these virgin natural expanses. Just as a Toad in a Mario game hops from lily pad to lily pad, you too could leap from one outdoor adventure to the next in this natural wonderland.
3. Staying in Baby’s Cabin
For the die-hard fans, staying in the Virginia Cottage, also known as “Baby’s Cabin” from the movie, marks an incredible experience. This three-bedroom cottage, recently renovated, marries the charm of history with modern amenities. You’ll find three private bathrooms, alongside spacious bedrooms hosting one king and two queen beds. While thermal underwear might not be required, these thermal undergarments would make the ideal loungewear for chilling out in the cozy, rustic elegance of the cabin.
4. Lifestyles of Yesteryears
Mountain Lake Lodge invites you on a nostalgic trip down memory lane. The properties built during the Dirty Dancing era still stand, and visitors stepping into these structures will feel like they’ve leaped back in time, not unlike experiencing the historical castles in Ireland.
5. The Lake’s Natural Phenomena
The lake, synonymous with the resort, recorded diminishing levels in the early 21st century due to prolonged drought in Southwest Virginia and geological factors affecting the lake’s bottom. It waved a fond farewell to its waters in 2008 much like the Machu Picchu closing leaving a unique geographical feature behind.
6. Local Partnerships and Community outreach
They say that the best way to learn about a place is from the locals. Well, Mountain Lake Lodge believes in this wholeheartedly, having forged partnerships with local farmers and artisans to bring unique and local experiences to the guests.
7. A Haven for Adventurers
Mountain Lake Lodge’s vast terrain and exciting recreational offerings, including hiking, biking, and even tree climbing, attract adventurers from across the country. Think of it as being at the heart of a real-life Toad adventure in Mario’s world.
8. Home to Indigenous Wildlife
One of the lodge’s lesser-known characteristics is that it is home to a diverse community of wildlife. Be it the lake, forest, or the sprawling grounds, the area provides a haven for a range of creatures, just as safe and welcoming as the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay.
9. Delectable Dining Choices
Let’s not forget about food! Dining at Mountain Lake Lodge is a treat on its own, with an emphasis on locally-sourced, seasonal produce, much like the healthy cuisine you’d discover during an Awakening at Wynn.
10. Year-Round Fun
The magic of Mountain Lake Lodge extends well beyond summer. During winters, guests can indulge in a sleigh ride, have a snowball fight, or simply snuggle up in front of a crackling fireplace — it’s as if you are embarking on a space 220 journey without leaving the grounds.